In this installment we will look at the content of a double page at the beginning of the Eitai Setsuyō Mujinzō which gives information about some cosmological beliefs in the Edo period. I am not saying that this represents the dominant cosmological world view of the period, but the fact that it appears within such a popular work as the Eitai Setsuyō Mujinzō makes it worth it to have a closer look. Below the image I will provide the complete translation along with some comments. I can't say that I'm satisfied with my translation, it doesn't read very well and I struggled to find good translations for some of the terms. If you have any suggestions that would improve the translations, please tell me in the comments.
The Heaven is yang. It is positioned above us and it covers everything. It is the virtue of the father. The Earth is yin. It is positioned below us and everything rides on top of it. It is the way of the mother. Furthermore, yin and yang intertwine and give birth to the five elements. The essence [of the five elements] circulates in Heaven and conducts the four seasons. The form covers Earth and gives birth to the human as well as birds, beasts, fish, insects, grass and trees. Therefore we call Heaven and Earth the Great Father and Mother. Because the human is born from this great essence of the five elements, it is said to be the spirit of all things. Therefore it is said that abiding by the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother is an act of filial piety. Obeying the Sun Emperor and the Moon Empress is said to be loyalty. Truly because man derives his nature from Heaven and Earth, there is no thing within Heaven and Earth that is not also within man. Because Heaven is round, the head of man is also round. Because Heaven has the sun and the moon, man has two eyes. In heaven there are constellations, in man there are teeth and nails. In Heaven there are wind and rain, in man there are happiness and anger. In Heaven there is thunder, in man there is voice. In Heaven there are both yin and yang, so in man there are both man and woman. In Heaven there are four seasons, so man has four limbs. In Heaven there are fire and cold, so in man there are fever and cold. In Heaven there are day and night, so man rises and goes to bed. In Heaven there is the pentatonic scale, so in man there are the five viscera. In Heaven there is the (Chinese) chromatic scale (六律. Usually a scale with twelve tones, but sometimes referred to as six as here), so in man there are the six internal organs. In Heaven there are the ten calendar signs, man has ten fingers. In Heaven there are the twelve zodiac signs, so in man there is the ten toes of the feet and the penis and the scrotum. Since the woman does not have this [penis and scrotum], it is the placenta and the uterus [instead]. Because there are twelve months in a year, man has twelve large joints. Since there are 360 days in a year, man has 360 bones. Or, because of the shape of Earth, man is shaped with legs. Because there are twelve rivers on Earth, man has twelve veins. Like Earth has tall mountains, man has shoulders and knees. Earth has underground rivers, man has streams of life energy and blood. On earth there is grass and trees, man has hair and muscles. The Earth has sand and small stones, man has bones and meat. Other than that, of all the things between Heaven and Earth, there is nothing that can be said to not also be in man. Also when talking about Mt.Sumeru, which is explained in Buddhist sutras, representations of its parts are all contained within the body. Just like at the top of Mt. Sumeru there is Tōriten, man has his skull. Mt. Sumerus Round Tree of Growth is the hair that grows on the round head of man. Taishaku, or his castle, is the eyebrows of man. This is the origin of the expression "Opening the eyebrow of happiness". The Hall of the Fine Dharma is the Buddha mind inside all humans. In the four heavenly directions of Mt. Sumeru, the Four Heavenly Kings, Jikoku, Zōjō, Kōmoku and Tamon reside. Firstly, Kōmoku is the two eyes. Tamon is the ears. Zōjō is the nose. The mouth is a country in itself because it eats all the food, so therefore it is Jikoku. The nine mountains of Sumeru are the nine parts of the body: the shoulders, the elbows, the breasts, the stomach, the genitals, the knees, the back, the hip and the buttocks. The Eight Seas is the flow of the eight consciousnesses of the mind. The four continents are the four limbs. Moreover, the Poem of Sumeru says that the north is yellow, it points to the color of the night of Kōkoku. Like it [the poem] says that the east is white, it points to the glowing color of the dawn in the east. Like it says that the south is blue, it points to the bright and blue sky of noon. Like it talks of the deep red of the west, it points to the red shadow of the setting sun. This is just like the day and night of this world. Sumeru is the sun; it rises in the Eastern Mountain, sets in the Western Mountain and is resurrected again in the east at daybreak. Also man is born in the yang of the east and dies in the yin of the west, and slowly returns to the east where he is resurrected. Upon seeing this, people are in awe of the preciousness of this and have to study the Way of Heaven and follow the Truth of Earth.
End of translation
Breen, John, and Mark Teeuwen. A New History of Shinto. Chichester: Wiley- Blackwell, 2010.
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Yokoyama, Toshio. "Even a Sardine's Head Becomes Holy: The Role of Household Encyclopedias in Sustaining Civilisation in Pre-Industrial Japan." In SANSAI: An Environmental Journal for the Global Community, 41-57, 2006.